As Catholics and Anglicans prepare to commemorate June 3, in remembrance of the dozens of Ugandans who died for Christianity, another group has organized a rival party to celebrate Buganda’s former King Daniel Basamula-Ekkere Mwanga who controversially ordered the killings.
The rival party has been organized for the first time, on the same date as Marty’s day June 3, by the Rastafarian community in Uganda, in memory of the works and life of the former Kabaka.
Led by the self-styled spiritual leader of Rastafarians in Uganda, Daudi Ssebanyiga Ssedyabane, the event to be held at his home in Konge Lukuli, Makindye Division, Kampala, Rastafarians will remember Mwanga’s contribution to the Rastafarian movement.
Sseba Mamba, as he is popularly known among the musician community in Uganda, says that commemorating the life of Mwanga is not in any way meant to spite Christians but rather to remember Mwanga’s June 3, birthday as well as his contributions towards the Rastafarian movement in Uganda.
Sseba says Mwanga was born on June 3, 1868. He reportedly ordered the killing of Christians on his 20th birthday.
Sseddyabane says: “Mwanga is the founder of the Rasta culture in Uganda and we find it relevant to commemorate his birthday upon the historical day when he punished his rebellious subjects.”
The group believes that Ssekabaka Mwanga was the first person in Buganda to plait dreadlocks and they believe that he is the one who master-minded the Rastafarian Culture.
They further believe that Mwanga belonged to the lineage of militant Rastas including former Ethiopian emperor Haille Selasie
Ssedyabane told this paper that Mwanga kept his dreads veiled all the time long and it is a culture by Royals and militants code named “Bobo shanty” meaning militant Rasta
“He was a militant Jah “Jajja” he kept his dreads veiled all the time although he used neither weed nor sang like other Rastas,” says Ssebanyiga.
“Am the chief priest of all Rastas and I preside over their burial and marriage rituals and in the Rasta culture I am given a title Jajja” Ssedyabane told The Sunrise.
Ssedyabane explains that Rastafarianism as an ideology, advocates for purity in culture and respect of cultural leaders and their decisions. It’s against this background that Rastas have come up to front such a similar gig in support of Mwanga’s decision of persecuting the Martyrs.
Sseba says that the event will be celebrated under the theme “Jajja Mutwe Mutonzi Mwanga” in memory of Mwanga as the founder of Rastafarians.
According to Sseba, Rastafarians fully support Mwanga’s decision of eliminating martyrs through execution because they rebelled against him.
Daniel Basammula-Ekkere Mwanga II Mukasa (1868-1903) was Kabaka of Buganda from 1884 until 1888 and from 1889 until 1897. He was the thirty first (31st) Kabaka of Buganda.
It is believed that he ordered the killing of at least thirty Catholic and Protestant Christian believers. Twenty-two of the men, who had converted to Catholicism, were burned alive at Namugongo in 1886. They were later declared and later became known as the Uganda Martyrs.
On 18 October 1964, the twenty-two Catholic Martyrs of Uganda were canonized by the Vatican. Among those executed were two Christians who held the court position of Master of the Pages, Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe and Charles (Kaloli) Lwanga.
Mwanga died in exile in the Seychelles Island aged 34 but his remains were returned for burial to Kasubi tombs in Kampala.